Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor | Review

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me access to an eARC. Hachette also sent me a physical completed copy of Muse of Nightmares. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Star-Divider

Book Depository | Booktopia | Amazon |

Star-DividerRating: ★★★★★

Release Date: October 2nd, 2018

Dates Read: August 14th, 2018 – August 15th, 2018

Trigger Warnings: mentions of rape, mentions of child abuse, graphic depictions of murder, grief

Pages: 528

Publisher: Hachette Australia

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance, magic

Goodreads blurb:

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Timesbestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

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August Wrap Up | 2018

Wow, August went by fast. I’m not even sure why. I think it’s because I had to do so much for university as I tried to get ahead before I start work experience in September. I don’t think I’m going to get much reading done in September, yikes. I typically read over ten books so I’m a little nervous. But, that is not this month.

I didn’t do a lot throughout August. I did multiple university assignments, started walking my dog every day, my arthritis medication finally started to work. I didn’t do anything socially, so it was a tad bit of a boring month in terms of a social life.

My reading month was all over the place though. I read some books I loved and I read some books I hated. I had some of my most anticipated releases let me down and I had some shock books that I absolutely loved. I read way more books than I even thought I would this month as well.

Over August I read 26 books and 7,929 pages. I find the page count interesting, so I’m going to start adding it to my wrap-ups!

A lot of my reviews I have written for my August reads haven’t been published yet. I scheduled all my posts for September, which are mostly these reviews. I hope you all stick around to read them!

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Books I Didn’t Think I’d Like But Loved | Discussion

I know a lot of people have the ability to be able to tell what book they’ll like before they read it. I sometimes have this ability, but more times than not I don’t. I sometimes struggle to work out what I will like and what I won’t like. Typically I fall into reading what books are hyped, which leads to a lot of disappointment for me when they don’t live up to it.

It’s not all bad news though. Sometimes I pick up a book with a resigned sigh, not expecting much and discover a new favourite. Have you ever had this happen? If so let me know in the comments so I know I’m not strange.

Some of these books include:

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Top 17 Books of 2017

Wow, 2017, what a year. So much has happened in my life. There have been so many hardships throughout this year and sometimes it was a mess. Sometimes it left me having a relapse in my room at 3am and sometimes it ended with me on top of the moon being so glad of all the progress I made.

But, you’re not all here to read about my mental health and my hardships of this year. You’re all here to read about what are my top 17 books of 2018. This was strangely an easy list to format. I tried to keep it mainly to 2017 releases, but some are just books I read this year and I adored. So, let’s get stuck into it. This list is in no particular order, so don’t assume because a book is higher up or lower it has more value.


1. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas | Review

This is the one that will have people screaming at me the most I think. I know so many people despise Sarah and her books, but her representation of PTSD really helps me. So, having Chaol, the main character, suffering throughout the book was something that resonated with me and left my feelings all over the place. It was also interesting to learn about his recovery, my mum had been in a car accident and told she’d never walk again (she did and does) so it was interesting to read about something that upsets her too much to talk about.

2. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesa Zappia | Review

I think this hit a lot of people’s favourite books this year. The fandom representation and anxiety throughout hit the nail on the head. It was also interesting to see a character who wrote and fanfiction to be incorporated into a novel. I used to write fanfiction (cringe) so I sincerely enjoyed this dynamic because I met one of my closest friends from writing it.

3. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu | Review

Now, this had to be one of my top books of 2017. It was incredible. It was the book I needed when I was younger and not sure where I fit in the world. When I truly needed some girl power. Honestly, I’m still speechless about this book but I will continue to scream about it and shove it into anyone’s hands I can.

4. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare | Review

Okay, so obviously Lord of Shadows was my favourite book of the year. I’ve made it clear how much I adore Cassandra Clare’s books and The Dark Artifices series is no exception. Her writing has improved so much over 10 years so I’m even recommending this series who didn’t like The Mortal Instruments. I really am still speechless over this book. I will definitely be re-reading before Queen of Air and Darkness releases next year.

5. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty | Review

Now, The City of Brass is a shock favourite of the year honestly. It was such a magical read that really drew me in. The culture and just, overall, the story was so absolutely incredible. I am still unable to really grasp what happened in it and it’s another book I want to shove onto absolutely anyone who will listen.

6. The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee | Review

Mackenzi Lee’s work is one book that has stuck with me since I read it months ago. It was so what I needed. A story about two young men and a girl causing mischief throughout Europe with a sense of adventure and serious tones throughout the novel. My favourite thing about this particular work was the inclusion of epilepsy. As someone who’s mum has epilepsy, it was incredible to see it represented in fiction with such a raw emotion. It truly is difficult to see someone you love suffer.

7. Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Review

I absolutely loved the first book in this series and the second book was no exception. I loved it. Honestly. This book also had some PTSD representation throughout it, that in my opinion, was so well done. The storyline is just as incredible as the first, even if I guessed the killer in this one. Maniscalco is just an incredible writer who I sing the highest of praises to.

8. A List of Cages by Robin Roe | Review

I read this book before I had my blog and really had a chance to rave about it. There are a lot of triggers in this book I wasn’t aware of but I read it in one sitting and was awake until late in the night crying over what happened. I still think about this book. My best friend actually bought me a physical copy for my birthday and I’m just so in love. It was just such an emotional punch so be prepared for that.

9. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

This is probably the most shocking book on my list. I put this book down after starting it and wasn’t expecting to ever go back. I had bought it because it was pretty and $11. One day though I picked it up on a whim and wow. This book. I am completely in love with Lazlo. Yet another book I am recommending endlessly to my friends and family. I really think this particular one is a good fit for anyone.

10. They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera | Review

I just loved this book. There are no words for me to even describe how great it was. Read it. Now.

11. Everless by Sara Holland | Review

This is a debut I just loved. The concept is just so intricate and so elaborate. I was blown away by it, not at all expecting a favourite book to come out of reading it. Sure, it doesn’t come out until next year for the US but this book is just so incredible you need to preorder now. 

12. How To Make A Wish By Ashley Herring Blake | Review

Similar to They Both Die At The End I have no words to describe this book. I am trying to shove it on my sister quite aggressively (because it needs to be shared) but she refuses to read it and it frustrates me. So, to everyone reading this you need to pick up this book. Obviously you need to pick up every book on the list, but still.

13. Renegades by Marissa Meyer | Review

I knew I was going to love Renegades. So, I wasn’t shocked when I loved Renegades. Recently its been the target of some homophobic reviews which is really annoying because this book is incredible. I absolutely love the anti-hero concept so I sincerely loved reading about it in Marissa’s beautiful writing style.

14. Magnus Chase and the Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan | Review

This one kind of speaks for itself. It’s the final book in a series and makes the list because Rick Riordan is an incredible writer. His inclusion of the mythologies in his worlds are so flawless and engaging that I can’t help but fall in love with absolutely everything.

15. The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones | Review

This was probably the biggest shock for my list. I picked it up on a whim because the ebook was on my phone was some reason. I thought it was a series as well, I’m not sure why? I fell in love completely. This book is so underhyped. Why haven’t more people read it? I don’t understand, honestly. It is truly a masterpiece. The writing, the storyline,  the romance. All. So. Incredible. Pick this up, please.

16. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed | Review

If you like Moxie, then you’ll love The Nowhere Girls. These two go right together with feminism movements. However, this one is a tad darker and intense. The girls fight back and a movement begins to protect others. It also made me realise some things about my own life I had to move through mentally. It was, however, such a powerful feminist read and I highly recommend it.

17. The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Review

Another unexpected favourite. This book got really popular on Goodreads for awhile and I decided to jump on the hype train. It’s such a beautiful f/f romance with pirates involved. Was not what I expected at all but I am glad to have it on this list!


So, there we have it! My top 17 reads of this year. Obviously, I recommend them all highly and sincerely suggest you give them as gifts to yourself (or others) this holiday season. All 17 books meant something important to me this year.

Have you read any of the books on this list? What are some of your favourite reads of 2017?

First Line Fridays #5

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So, what’s it about? 

First Lines Fridays is a weekly — obviously — feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words where we dare to ask: What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author, or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? It is a meme that allows us to explore the world of fiction.

I myself judge books by their author, cover, and notoriety. So, seeing people do this challenge for months has had me pick up some pretty amazing books.

How it works? 

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be a current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page.
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t provide any other details about the book just yet — let’s see if it hooks the reader in!
  • Finally…reveal the book!

 

On the second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the City of Weep, a girl fell from the sky.

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Credit @ L_O_Attraction

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The book is Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

Buy Links: Amazon | Book Depository | Wordery

Trigger Warnings: abuse & mention of suicide

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance

Goodreads Synopsis:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Strange the Dreamer was a book I expected to hated. All my friends loved it and that usually means hell for me. However, I fell in love with absolutely everything about the story. It was so captivating and Lazlo and Sari quickly became two of my favourite characters ever. Plus, I absolutely love the first sentence of this book. It is captivating in a way that makes you curious as to what you are reading. I just don’t have words for this book but I did write a review.

This one’s definitely worth your time, it is an excellent book!


Happy reading everyone!

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Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor | Review

TRIGGER WARNINGS: abuse, mention of suicide

Rating: ★★★★★

Release Date: March 28th, 2017

Pages: 536

Buddy Read With Caitlin

Goodreads Review: here

Goodreads blurb:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.


P R E F A CE

This has lots of spelling errors and I could have gone on forever about this book but I can’t finish writing it just yet but I need to get this up. You see my problem? Anyway, in short, highly recommend this book.


R A M B LE 

Real talk for Strange the Dreamer is I went in expecting to hate it. I didn’t enjoy the authors other series, I was left confused and disorientated (it was one of my first fantasy series while trying to get back into the genre). However, Strange the Dreamer has shot straight to my favourite books and favourite books of 2017 list. I am still in shock from how absolutely incredible this book was.

 

 

Strange the Dreamer combines elements that I hated in other books in a new and exciting way that was completely refreshing. The ending left me speechless. The fan art is incredible and, sure as hell, I have fallen completely in love with both Sarai and Lazlo.

The world that the author creates is a perfect fantasy realm in my opinion. There are many ideas that could be reflecting history (the fact GodSpawn as hated as their parents who did the terrible acts but not them). However, I could be completely wrong on that note.


P L O T

The plot, for me, was incredible. It’s a little slow and there is a lot of filler before we reach events that will further us along but I enjoyed every second of it. Whether it was from Lazlo or Sarai’s perspective, I was completely enthralled with the world itself.

For this novel find out all about The Unseen City, as Lazlo fondly calls it, or Weep, as city people hope to forget. They’re both the same place, except Lazlo is completely fascinated by it. Being a librarian he has studied it intensely while his colleagues laughed at him and brushed him off as he learnt about fairy tales. That’s until people from Weep ride into his town (city? I have no idea) and request people to join them to take back their city from the only remaining piece of the Gods they know of. I’m not sure how to describe this, but it’s basically a floating island attached to an anchor. At least, in my mind it was.

Many sign on for this challenge, and Lazlo gets the chance to join after begging to come along. There are so many side plots going on that they take the back seat for a while, but they all remain present and become very important the closer the book gets to the climax.


C H A R A C T E R S

#L A Z L O   S T R A N G E

I’m going to put it simply. Lazlo is h o t. My friend Caitlin sent me the fan art while we were buddy reading this and oh my gods. I fell in love. Not only that, but Lazlo is the sweetest character ever. He has so much love to give and honestly he is so god damn pure. We need to protect Lazlo Strange from everyone

Lazlo has been ridiculed by people he knows his whole life for his obsession with Weep. People have never believed him, even as he deciphered languages and worked out pronunciations. People simply laughed in his face. So, finding out that the city is in fact real fills him with a confidence he never would have had otherwise. It was a pretty beautiful thing to read about. He was still a shy and cautious character, which was a great change from heroes who don’t care

#S A R A I

I’m not too sure on what to say about Sarai. I really liked her. I thought she was a great character and had great development surrounded by her fellow siblings? I don’t know if that’s the correct word to use. I loved her chapters and I loved finding out more about the citadel (which gave me high key Game of Thrones vibes).

I also don’t have a lot to say here because some shit is going on in my house currently. Just trust me when I say Sarai is awesome and if anyone wants to hate on her I will fight you. Trust me. I am ready to fight.


O V E R A L L

Overall, Strange the Dreamer is a magical read that holds so much beautiful writing and characters. I can’t wait for Muse of Nightmares to come out.

Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

I’ve seen everyone doing this tag and I was pretty curious so here I am. Ignore the weird format of the pictures throughout, I was learning how to add photos to a blog post!

1. BEST BOOKS YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2017?

So, so, so many! But to list a few (because I could go on for a while) here we go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. BEST SEQUEL OF 2017 SO FAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lord of Shadows by far has been the best sequel I have read this year. I was blown away by how much Cassandra Clare has improved as an author.

3. NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET, BUT YOU WANT TO

This one is a pretty hefty list, but to name a few

 

4. MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2017?

5. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Caraval was a book I had small expectations going into but it let me down even more than I expected!

6. BIGGEST SURPRISE

Not Your Sidekick & The Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice & Virtue!

7. FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR (DEBUT OR AUTHOR TO YOU)

Cale Dietrich

8. NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Can I say Julian Blackthorn? That’s a continuous fictional crush I’ve held since last year. No? Fine. Since I just finished it the other day, Monty from The Gentlemen’s Guide.

9. NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Kit Herondale in Lord of Shadows!

10. BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY 

What doesn’t make me cry?

I sobbed in Lord of Shadows & The Gentlemen’s Guide, I got a tad weepy in A Court of Wings and Ruin and I had tears running down my face the whole time I read A List of Cages.

11. A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY 

I’m not sure I’ve read too many happy books this year, so I’m going to pick The Hating Game by Sally Thorne which I actually re-read.

12. FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

I haven’t watched too many but let me just say not Shadowhunters.

13. FAVORITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR? 

I’ve only just started blogging but my favourite reviews on Goodreads are the ones where I dislike the books. I think my favourite one was probably my Caraval review.

14. MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT OR RECEIVED THIS YEAR?

Or my limited edition Waterstone copies of Lady Midnight and Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare! 

15. WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?

Way too many. Don’t let me check my iBooks library either because then we are entering dangerous territory!